I don't know that many seriously rich businessmen, by which I mean, of course, that I don't actually know any of them. During what is laughingly known as my 'business life' I did brush up against one or two of them and I would say that on the whole, by and large, and taken in the round, I would not wish to go into a jungle with any of them! Some, but not all, were A1 shits of the first water whose sole virtue was the ability to make money. And, yes, mea culpa, I admit that my view was probably jaundiced by the fact that, frankly, I wasn't much good at it myself. Happily, I do have the ability, sometimes, to step out of myself and try to view the world dispassionately and so I can say with absolute honesty that whilst I might not like 'em, I damn well admire 'em! I am also deeply grateful to them because all sorts of essential goodies would not be available if these hard-driven 'Gradgrinds' were not so ruthless in providing them - at a profit to themselves, of course. There-in lies the essence of free market capitalism in which, unlike the fairy tale land of socialism, it isn't necessary to actually like the person you are doing business with, and you may transact your business on an entirely selfish basis without the bogus, sentimental notion beloved of socialists that what they do via governmental diktat is entirely charitable. Also, as a subject of Her Maj, I am grateful for these rich people amassing huge amounts of dosh because the taxman at least has half a chance - oh, alright then, a 10% chance - of collecting some of it for me, that's me, as in me, ME, ME! Well, it helps pay for my pension.
All of that old guff brings me, eventually, to Sir Richard Branson. Yeeeeeees, quite so!
I do not like Sir Richard! Of course, I have never met him, and in fact, I have never even travelled on one of his aeroplanes, but like all true-blue, British 'gruntsnufflers', I enjoy my prejudices and he's one of 'em! It may be the beard, or it may be the dyed hair, I'm not sure, but were I to find myself alone with him in a jungle I would definitely try and lose him as fast as possible. Today we learn that he intends to forsake these shores and live on some West Indian island which means, I gather, that he will avoid paying taxes towards the upkeep of my pension. Thus, I am in a quandary, should I learn to love Sir Richard and beg him on bended knee to remain in this 'our septic isle', or should I pop the cork on a bottle of (cheap) bubbly and celebrate his departure, blonde hair, ghastly beard and all his zillions, too? I don't know but I think I should be told!
In the meantime, The Spectator has a very pertinent question for him but somehow I don't think they are holding their breath for an answer!